Q. I have a question about the Ezekiel 38-39 war. This is a little confusing. The Lord intervenes on behalf of His land and His people and they realize His intervention has kept them from being destroyed and yet go on to build the temple. It appears that even the nations recognize that the Lord’s intervention has spared Israel, but they still do not recognize Jesus as their Messiah. Is that correct? And will the rapture precede Ezekiel’s war?
A. Your perception is correct. After the Battle of Ezekiel 38 the Jews, in fact the whole world, will believe that God has intervened on Israel’s behalf. There’s no evidence that the nations will be persuaded to follow Him from this, but in Israel there will be an official return to their Old Covenant relationship. We know this because they have to fulfill the last 7 years of the 490 period announced to Daniel (Daniel 9:24-27) in preparation for the Kingdom Age. In a sense they’ll be picking up where they left off 2,000 years ago. According to Zechariah 12:10, Israel won’t make its national conversion to the Messiah until sometime near the end of the Great Tribulation.
I believe there’s a good chance that the rapture will precede Ezekiel 38 because God will use this war to to remove Israel’s hardening toward Him (Ezekiel 39:22). In effect, Romans 11:25 tells us that won’t happen until the Church is gone.